Department of the Army Historical Summary: FYs 1990 & 1991



Fiscal years (FYs) 90 and 91 witnessed dramatic changes in the world order and the international security environment. While many nations became more politically independent, economic interdependence also increased. New centers of political and economic influence were evolving. America's North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies pursued their national interests more assertively, while Japan and other nations of the Pacific Rim advanced their positions in the world order. U.S. leaders maintained serious concerns about a series of international security issues. These issues included the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and missile technologies among many developing nations; state-sponsored terrorism; insurgency; the subversion of legitimate governments; and international drug trafficking. On a brighter note, positive changes occurred among many Communist nations during FY 90 and 91. The Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact took giant steps toward renouncing communism and adopting free elections and private enterprise.

In the late 1980s Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev had reinforced his perestroika ("restructuring of the Soviet economy") and glasnost ("openness") initiatives with several other strategies. Arms reduction agreements, demonstrated by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of June 1988, was one of them. Unilateral reductions in the Soviet armed forces was another. In December 1988 Gorbachev announced a Soviet troop withdrawal from central Europe. Gorbachev complemented this move with his plan to reduce Soviet armed forces by 500,000 men, along with a substantial cut in the number of deployed divisions, tanks, and artillery. U.S. national defense policymakers had reservations about these events and Gorbachev's advocacy of "reasonable sufficiency" for the Soviet defense establishment. They saw Gorbachev's proclaimed interest in paring Soviet military posture strongly influenced by an ulterior intent to modernize Soviet forces, especially with high-technology conventional weapons that the severely weakened Soviet economy could not produce.

Major political changes unfolded in the eastern European Warsaw Pact countries in 1989 and 1990. In Poland, candidates backed by the


Solidarity movement won the June 1989 elections, which led to the popular election of Lech Walesa as prime minister the next year. Reacting to public pressure, Czechoslovakia established a cabinet with a non-Communist majority in December 1989 and held its first free elections in June 1990. The Hungarian Communist Party declared itself noncommunist in October 1989, and parliamentary elections in April 1990 yielded a noncommunist conservative majority. Bulgaria's Communist Party renounced its role as leader in national politics in December 1989, which resulted in the installation of a political independent as premier in December 1990. A bloody anti-Communist revolution in Romania culminated in the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian president and Communist Party chief, and creation of a noncommunist regime. In East Germany the Communist government of Erich Honecker was toppled in October 1989, and the opening of the Berlin Wall followed on 9 November. East Germany held its first free elections on 18 March 1990, and the reunification of Germany occurred on 3 October 1990.

The progressive dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the programmed withdrawal of Soviet troops from central Europe in 1990 accelerated the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) talks between the United States and the Soviet Union. Under the auspices of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), NATO and Warsaw Pact countries signed the CFE Treaty in Paris on 19 November 1990. Its major provisions allowed each side to retain 20,000 tanks, 30,000 armored combat vehicles, 20,000 artillery pieces, 6,800 combat aircraft, and 2,000 attack helicopters within the area from the Atlantic to the Urals (ATTU) . President George Bush declared that the CFE Treaty signaled the end of the Cold War. The Vienna Document 1990, an executive agreement reached by CSCE members coincident with CFE, established a yearly requirement for NATO and Warsaw Pact members to exchange information on personnel and equipment within ATTU. The lessening of tensions between East and West were further illustrated by a November 1990 visit by Army Chief of Staff General Carl E. Vuono to the Soviet Union. General Vuono toured several Soviet military sites and had lengthy discussions with both the Soviet Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief and the Defense Minister.

The collapse of the Communist bloc did not alter the fundamental objectives of America's national security strategy — to deter or defeat aggression; to ensure global access and influence; to promote regional stability and cooperation; to stop the flow of illicit drugs; and to combat terrorism .

Although the United States continued to need sufficient conventional and nuclear capabilities to counterbalance potential armed threats, the end of the Cold War permitted some changes in America's defense posture. Forward defense in critical regions gave way to a reduced forward presence supported by the concept of projection of military power from the


continental United States (CONUS) in times of crisis and the ability to reconstitute (mobilize, train, and equip) additional forces.

These developments hastened more specific formulation of the Army's AirLand Battle-Future concept by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) during FY 90 and 91. The shift in emphasis from high-intensity to low-intensity conflicts meant a change from linear, or a broad front line, to nonlinear combat operations of highly mobile and largely self-contained forces. The corps would remain the centerpiece of Army doctrine, but divisions would be lighter and employ combined arms brigades and a simplified logistics system.

Because of the declining threat posed by the Communist bloc and the growing federal budget deficit, in the summer of 1990 the White House announced a willingness to reduce substantially the U.S. defense establishment. Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney submitted a plan to Congress in June 1990 to cut the armed forces 25 percent during the next five years. He specified reductions for the Army active component — a drop in personnel strength from 770,000 to 520,000 and a cut in divisions from 18 to 14 by 1995. President Bush publicized his acceptance of a 25 percent reduction in the U.S. armed forces by 1995 during a speech to the Aspen Institute Symposium on 2 August 1990. But, the President also warned that the Iraqi invasion of Ku wait that very day underscored the fact that the world remained a dangerous place. He wanted the cuts to be accompanied by a careful and orderly restructuring of America's armed forces.

In early FY 90 the Army had an active component strength of 765,000 and 5 corps. Its combat units included 28 tactical divisions (18 active and 10 reserve components) and 28 separate combat brigades (5 active and 23 reserve components). The reserve components included more than half of the soldiers in the Total Army, and one-third of the active component divisions had reserve component roundout brigades. The FY 91 Defense Authorization Act directed the Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct a formal study of the Total Force policy. The Pentagon's resultant Total Force Policy Report to the Congress, released at the end of 1991, confirmed the continued use of Army National Guard roundout brigades, but Army rapid deployment units would have active component support units to sustain combat operations for the first thirty days. Active component strength reductions continued during FY 90 and 91, but the Army deferred formal reserve component reductions pending the response of Congress to the Total Force Policy Report.

Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), during FY 90 and 91, established two major study groups that investigated ways to both restructure and reduce the Army. Project QUICKSILVER, chartered in the fall of 1989, evaluated the Army 's table of organization and equipment


( TOE) structure. QUICKSILVER's recommendations included reduction of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) to a separate brigade, inactivation of the 2d Armored Division, and numerous reconfigurations and inactivations of brigades and smaller units. Created in the spring of 1990, Project VANGUARD assessed table of distribution and allowances (TDA ) organizations. VANGUARD's final report, published in December 1990, contained many initiatives. Broad areas of suggested change included realignment of HQDA with its field operating agencies and realignment of CONUS forces to streamline the chain of command. A more specific initiative was elimination of the Physical Fitness School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

Base realignment and closure (BRAC) received renewed attention during the cutback climate of FY 90 and 91, but Congress slowed the DOD's accelerated action on this contentious issue. The Secretary of Defense's BRAC Commission of 1988 had identified more than 100 Army installations for realignment or closure. Public Law 100-526 of 1988 codified the commission's work. With the second phase, BRAC II of January 1990, the DOD identified 26 more Army installations for realignment or closure, while BRAC III of September 1990, the third phase, called for reduction or closure of 113 overseas Army installations. Congress, disturbed about the rapidity and scope of the Defense Department's BRAC actions, passed the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990, called BRAC 91, that established an independent commission to evaluate BRAC recommendations made by the DOD.

In response to a presidential mandate, the Secretary of Defense submitted a Defense Management Report (DMR) in July 1989 that outlined measures to save $39 billion in the Department of Defense during 1991-95. The Army submitted its proposals to the D M R, A r my Management Report I (AMR I), in October 1989 and later implemented thirty-five initiatives that focused upon restructuring the Army Materiel Command (AMC) and making improvements in the Army logistics system. Army officials estimated that AMR I would save about $650 million in FY 91. DOD appropriations have declined, in real terms, since FY 85.

The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act and the failure of Congress to reach a budget agreement for FY 90 resulted in sequestration, or automatic across-the-board budget cuts, in the fall of 1989. When President Bush signed the Defense Appropriations Act on 21 November, the sequestration was lifted and the Army received $77.7 billion of its $79 billion request, the fifth consecutive annual decline. Disagreements between the White House and Congress regarding the FY 91 Department of Defense budget culminated in the shut-down of the federal government on the Columbus Day weekend in October 1990. Several stopgap spending measures kept the government afloat, and Congress reached a budget


settlement at the end of October. The Army's FY 91 budget was $73 billion, a 7 percent cut from FY 90.

The effectiveness of the Army's planning and programming was tested by two major combat operations during FY 90 and 91. The first, Operation JUST CAUSE, was the U.S. invasion of Panama and the ouster of the Manuel Noriega regime during December 1989 and January 1990. The second was Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, a U.S.-led international coalition that forcibly removed the occupying Iraqi Army from Kuwait during the period of August 1990 to February 1991.

A joint U.S. force of 25,750 was committed to JUST CAUSE, 13,000 being part of the regular Panamanian garrison. The Panamanian Defense Force (PDF) consisted of about 15,500 personnel. Major participating U.S. Army units included the 193d Infantry Brigade, brigades from the 82d Airborne and 7th Infantry Divisions, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and elements of the 5th Infantry Division. Launched on 20 December 1989, JUST CAUSE ended quickly. General Noriega took refuge in the Vatican consulate on 24 December and surrendered on 3 January 1990.

On 2 August 1990, more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers launched an attack that overwhelmed the small country of Kuwait. On 6 August the Saudi Arabian government requested assistance from the United States against a potential invasion of its territory by the Iraqis. A U.S.-led coalition began a buildup of personnel and equipment in the Persian Gulf called Operation DESERT SHIELD. During a seven-month period more than 500,000 members of the U.S. Armed forces assembled there under the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). In excess of 140,000 Army active component soldiers from more than five divisions stationed in CONUS, plus their support units, went to the Persian Gulf. U.S. Forces Command (FORSCOM) activated some 145,000 reserve component personnel who served in CONUS, the Persian Gulf, and Europe, while U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR), sent more than 87,000 personnel to assist the coalition. Operation DESERT STORM began on 17 January 1991 as coalition air power systematically destroyed critical Iraqi targets. The coalition ground campaign ensued on 24 February, and within a period of 100 hours, coalition forces completely routed the Iraqi Army.

Combat operations in Panama and the Persian Gulf did not alter the move toward substantial Army manpower reductions. The Army Program Objective Memorandum (POM) for 1992-97 prescribed reduction of the active component to 580,000 by the end of FY 97. Project QUICKSILVER recommended reducing the TOE Army by 160,000 and the T DA Army by 40,000 military personnel and 57,000 civilian man-years by FY 97. Active component strength stood at 765,000 at the beginning of FY 90 and fell to 728,000 by year's end because of both voluntary and involuntary reduction programs. These programs included a bar to reenlistment


for enlisted personnel and the Probationary/Conditional Voluntary Indefinite Selection Board for officers. HQDA also planned to offer economic incentives to encourage voluntary separations. Reduced recruiting goals and higher standards for the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) also were employed to reduce the active component. The active component enlisted recruiting objective of 119,901 for FY 89 was reduced to 87,000 for FY 90. Army standards in FY 90 stipulated that at least 95 percent of new accessions have high school diplomas, while 67 percent must score in the upper half, and no more than 2 percent in Category IV of the AFQT.

In FY 90 about 307,000 members of the Army Reserve (USAR) and 444,000 Army National Guard (ARNG) personnel were assigned to the Selected Reserve. The Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) consisted of 322,000 Army Reservists, and about 9,000 National Guardsmen were assigned to the Inactive National Guard (ING). In that year the USAR recruited 65,075, or 98.6 percent of its objective.

With an objective of 70,668 for FY 90, the ARNG recruited 77,853 or 110.2 percent of its goal. For FY 90 the Army set an active component recruiting objective for women with no prior service (NPS) at 12,600 and achieved a rate of 100.1 percent. In that year the USAR recruited 8,357 women for an achievement rate of 110.4, whereas the ARNG recruited only 4,855 NPs females for a rate of 69.4 percent. The Army employed 455,776 civilians in FY 90 and, as with military personnel, sought a 25 percent reduction of the civilian work force by FY 95.

Although funding was limited, quality of life programs continued to receive emphasis from both the Army leadership and Congress during FY 90 and 91. Budget constraints on new housing resulted in concentration upon maintenance and revitalization of existing structures as demonstrated by the Whole Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Passed in November 1989, the Military Child Care Act provided financial resources to assure minimum funding levels and also improvements in the staffs of Army child care facilities. The Army Medical Department (AMEDD) tried to increase the quality of medical services for Army families while controlling skyrocketing medical costs. Through the Civilian Health and Medical Program for Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS) Management Improvement Program the Army looked to tighten review procedures for CHAMPUS services and to control doctors' fees. In October 1990 the Army Surgeon General introduced the Gateway to Care Program as an interim measure. The program authorized local military hospital commanders to utilize both military and civilian provider health care for their patients.

The Army Safety Program reported a continued downward trend in accidents, injuries, and fatalities during FY 90 and 91. Accidents declined


by 24 percent, and the lowest number of aircraft accidents on record occurred in FY 90. The number and cost of civilian on-the-job injuries increased that year, but declined in FY 91. Financial benefits, another quality-of-life service to soldiers, were adjusted during FY 90 and 91 because of JUST CAUSE and DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. Participants in JUST CAUSE received Imminent Danger Pay (IDP), and the Army also approved IDP for service in several countries affected by DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. After DESERT STORM began, Army enlisted personnel were not required to pay federal income tax on their military compensation for the period they served in the Persian Gulf. Legislation confirmed that reserve component soldiers, called to active duty for Persian Gulf service, would retain the medical insurance provided by their employers and also be eligible for the variable housing allowance. Active component soldiers being involuntarily separated were further assisted by establishment of the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) in FY 90. With ACAP, the Army planned to create Transition Assistance Off ices (TAOs) at various installations to help soldiers convert to civilian life.

Army training strategy during FY 90 and 91 continued the trend toward more simulated and less live training. Initiated in FY 88, the Combined Arms Training Strategy (CATS) anticipated that Army training will eventually be based on devices rather than supported by them. Reduced funding accelerated the development of training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations (TADSS). The Combined Army Tactical Training System (CATT), which performs combined arms maneuvers on a simulated battlefield for crews through battalions, was networked to eight active component units by the end of 1990. Begun in late 1988, distributed training strategy (DTS) was intended to reduce resident training and improve instructional quality. DTs will rely heavily upon new technologies — computer-based instruction, interactive video disc, and video conferencing. The first major DTs pilot project was assigned to the Kentucky Army National Guard in 1990.

In FY 90 the Army 's Leadership Assessment and Development Program (LADP) was implemented in selected Army schools for both senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and officers. The Chief of Staff authorized the Self-Development Test (SDT) for enlisted personnel as an eve n t u a l replacement for the Skill Qualification Test (SQT). The SDT combines Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) questions with other questions on training and leadership. Military Qualification Standards (MQS) is the Army 's evolving officer leader development system, based on common tasks and professional knowledge. The manual for MQS I, on the subject of precommissioning training, was revised and distributed in 1990, while the manual for MQS II, regarding company-grade officers, was released in FY 91. Army officials expressed serious concern in 1991 that DESERT


SHIELD/DESERT STORM created substantial backlogs in attendance at the leader development schools. Basic noncommissioned officer courses and advanced noncommissioned officer courses were all expected to underfill by 25 to 45 percent in FY 91, while officer advanced courses were also adversely affected. School officials anticipated a period of one to two years to eliminate attendance backlogs.

Army unit training was influenced during FY 90 and 91 by both budget constraints and DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. The Persian Gulf war reduced unit rotations at the National Training Center (NTC) from twelve in FY 90 to five in FY 91. The Battle Command Training Program, which trains division and corps staffs by a warfighter computer battle simulation exercise, reduced its CONUS program in FY 91, but provided special training to Army divisions and corps that served in the Persian Gulf. REFORGER, an annual joint/combined exercise, was postponed in 1989 to 1990; while REFORGER 91 relied heavily upon simulations and employed only 28,000 allied troops. Overseas deployment training (ODT) for the reserve components was reduced from 40,000 in FY 90 to 28,000 in FY 91. When DESERT SHIELD began in August 1990, Army training and combat developers considered the Total Army fundamentally ready for war. Three activated ARNG roundout brigades — 48th Infantry of Georgia, 155th Armored of Mississippi, and the 256th Infantry of Louisiana — revealed some deficiencies in combat readiness, but the Army leadership considered this normal for reserve component units that train only part-time.

The Army chose five major pieces of equipment as the main thrust of its modernization program during the 1970s and 1980s — a main battle tank, an attack helicopter, a utility helicopter, an infantry fighting vehicle, and an air defense system. When the U.S. Army deployed to Southwest Asia in 1990, its units possessed the fruits of that effort — the Abrams M1 and M1A1 tank, the AH-64 Apache helicopter, the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the Bradley M2/M3 fighting vehicle, and the Patriot air defense system. By FY 91, however, the Army faced tough modernization decisions as its procurement budget, which was $14.8 billion in FY 89, dropped to $9 billion.

The Army reassessed its modernization strategy and adopted several guiding principles — keep costs down by fielding equipment to units based on the priority of scheduled deployment times; future weapons systems must be lethal, but maximize soldier and weapon survivability; new technologies must have additional modernization possibilities and be acquired before potential enemies obtain them; new weapons systems must be reliable and simple to operate and maintain, and they must require minimal training.

Although some weapons systems already in production would continue, Army planners decided in FY 91 to focus on modernizing by acquir-


ing technically advanced new weapons systems rather than upgrading existing ones. For example, the revised Armored Systems Modernization (ASM) plan curtailed M1A1 and M1A2 tank production in preference to the Block III. The ASM sought a heavy chassis for the Block III tank that would also be used by the Combat Mobility Vehicle (CMV), the Advanced Field Artillery System (AFAS), and the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). Product development and procurement continued during FY 90 and 91 for a series of systems that included the Light Helicopter (LHX) Comanche, the Forward Area Air Defense System (FAADS), and the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). Reserve component modernization proceeded as USAR units received HMMWVs and M939 series 5- ton trucks. Pledges of equipment to the ARNG by HQDA included M1 or M60A3 thermal sight tanks for its armor units and Apache helicopters for twelve of its aviation attack battalions. Responsible for the ground-based, surface-to-air air defense of the United States, the Army contributed to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) during FY 90 and 91 by ongoing experiments with the free electron laser, with the neutral particle beam, and with artificial intelligence. In 1990 the Army Space Council approved research and development for tactical satellites that would perform intelligence and antijam communications functions for tactical commanders.

The ability to mobilize, deploy, and sustain its forces effectively for combat operations has long been a major concern of the Army. Evidence of this concern has been demonstrated by various programs in recent years — CAPSTONE; the Army Mobilization and Operations Planning System (AMOPS); various mobilization and training exercises, such as OPTIMAL FOCUS and REFORGER; and annual screenings of IRRs. The brief duration and operational security needs of JUST CAUSE did not favor mobilization of reserve component units, while thorough rehearsing ensured almost flawless deployment. Mobilization, deployment, and sustainment for DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM presented major challenges to the Army leadership for a number of reasons. These reasons included no stationing of U.S. troops or stockpiling of military materiel in the Middle East, an 8,700-mile supply line from CONUS, and the piecemeal activation of reserve component combat service support personnel. The demand for strategic lift saw the first activation of the Civilian Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) by the president and expensive chartering of foreign-flag commercial ships because of deficiencies in the Ready Reserve Force (RRF).

Hard work by Army logisticians and transporters, and a fortuitous interlude between the beginning of DESERT SHIELD and the onset of DESERT STORM, helped the Army to perform its transportation and logistical tasks in Southwest Asia. Other factors eased the formidable effort. Pre-positioning of materiel configured to unit sets (POMCUS) in Europe,


which consisted of company and battalion equipment packages, facilitated the equipping of units which deployed early for DESERT SHIELD. The Army's war reserve stocks, especially ammunition and preferred/smart munitions, proved useful. Several Persian Gulf states contributed valuable wartime host nation support (WHNS); a primary example was provision by Saudi Arabia of vast quantities of fuel.

The Army performed a variety of special functions for the civilian sector in both the United States and foreign countries during FY 90 and 91. These functions included civil works, water projects, the war against drugs, improvement and preservation of the environment, and relief for the local populace following both natural disasters and the destructive effects of war. As part of President Bush's new attack on the illegal drug traffic in FY 89, HQDA produced the Army Counter-Narcotics Plan in April 1990. The plan essentially reinforced existing Army assistance, which included intelligence, loan of equipment, and training of law enforcement personnel in combat and jungle operations. In November 1989 the Commander in Chief, U.S. Forces Command (CINC-FORSCOM), formed Joint Task Force Six at Fort Bliss, Texas, to coordinate Army support to the war against illegal drugs along the Southwest border. By April 1991 U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) had e l even ant drug training teams in five Latin American countries. The ARNG had participated in the drug war for thirteen years, and in FY 90 it took a direct part in twenty-five counter-drug operations while under state control.

Growing concerns within the civilian sector about environmental protection and preservation affected the Army during FY 90 and 91. In the mid-1980s the Army had initiated a twenty-year program to clean up pollution on its properties. The FY 90 Defense Authorization Act directed the DOD to prepare a report by early FY 92 on its long-range environmental goals. One interim measure directed by HQDA created the Integrated Training Area Management Program in 1990 that emphasized avoiding, as well as repairing, damage to the environment. In FY 91 the Army allocated $350 million for environmental cleanup, and an Environmental Compliance Achievement Program was created to help commanders comply with federal and state environmental laws. Despite these increased efforts, the Army received 173 Notice of Violation statements that cited 418 separate violations at its various installations in FY 90. These violation charges resulted in a series of ongoing civil suits against the Army.

In summary, FY 90 and 91 witnessed monumental changes in the existing world order that dramatically affected American national security strategy. The dissolution of the Communist bloc and the growing federal budget deficit resulted in calls for sharp reductions in the DOD budget that directly affected people, programs, and installations. Although its


roles and missions were not substantially altered, the Army began a series of changes and belt-tightening that had broad ramifications. These changes included a shift in AirLand Battle concepts from high- to low- intensity conflict, along with a reduced forward presence and the need for an enhanced ability to project military power from CONUS. Other major changes during this period were a planned reduction of active component strength from 765,000 troops in FY 90 to 580,000 by FY 97, and anticipated future budget cuts that would follow the Army's 7 percent cut in FY 91. Less money also meant difficulty in attracting and retaining high-quality personnel, slowed improvement in quality of life programs, a continued trend toward more simulated and less live training, and highly selective modernization that emphasized acquiring the most technically advanced new weapons systems.



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Last updated 30 October 2003